The turmoil in Kenosha, Wisconsin that began with the shooting of an unarmed black man by police has revealed undercurrents of both racism and militant lawlessness. “American HERO Kyle update…” was the specific language used in a post by a man known as John “TIG” Tiegen — visible late last night on his public Facebook page.
The “update” was a repost promoting the defense fund for Kyle Rittenhouse.
Rittenhouse is currently being charged with the murders of two protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin in the aftermath of the police shooting of Jacob Blake. Rittenhouse, a 17 year old self-described militia member, was armed with a semi-automatic assault rifle. There are no reports that any of the victims were armed.
“That’s why I say NICE F@&K shot Kyle!” Tiegen posted on his Instagram page earlier in the day.
He was replying to another post from a group promoting unverified allegations that one of the protesters was a sex offender and the other was a convicted felon.
It appears Tiegen is a high profile voice of a concerted effort by hardcore conservatives to brand Kyle Rittenhouse as an American Hero who was simply protecting himself and the property of others.
Tiegen’s posts of unverified and potentially damaging information (and claims that people he killed were, among other things, sex offenders) appeared in spite of numerous violations of platform rules and misinformation advisories from Facebook. There is no explanation for why Facebook has allowed it.
Tiegen is a former Marine Sergeant and survivor of the September 11, 2012, attack on the American Embassy in Benghazi, Libya.
He is quickly becoming the face of the Colorado GOP. Tiegan was the person who delivered Trump’s signatures to the Colorado Secretary of State’s office in order for him to qualify for the Colorado ballot in November.
Now, Tiegen is the spokesman for the “Team Trump Bus” currently touring Northern Colorado.
Moreover, Tiegen is accompanied on the CO Trump Bus by other high profile Republicans. Among them are Vice President Mike Pence’s son, John Pence, and a senior legal advisor to the Trump Campaign, Jenna Ellis.
Tiegen is not the first or the only the high profile conservative from Colorado who supports militias and vigilantism.
Last month, Republican District 3 Congressional candidate Lauren Boebart posed with Colorado Militia members outside her restaurant in Rifle, Colorado. Boebart, is an avowed Q-Anon believer.
Among other false beliefs, Q-Anon supporters believe there is a plot involving Democrats and the Pope to run an underground pedophile ring, that President Donald Trump is in place to free these children, and that whenever he speaks, his words are a code that they must interpret.